The architectural response has been developed from two standpoints. Firstly, the scale and presence of the buildings, in the context of the Colville estate and wider area, requires a clear and ordered approach to the façade design. To create elegance, a vertical order is established through a 3 storey grid, into which plugs panels, windows, recessed- and occasionally projecting balconies. The vertical grid and its scale give an immediate civic quality. The second standpoint is one that is more ephemeral; looking to the wider natural context of the canal and its continual change in character, lighting and hues. The hues of the building respond to these contrasts of sunny mornings and afternoons to subdued, grey moments. The merging of these two ideas, presents a building with order and yet subtle variation that works well with the surrounding buildings and future intentions for the masterplan; that of strong framing, order and punctuations with recessed balconies.
As prominent buildings within the Colville Estate development, the material selection has been carefully considered to provide a contrast and apparent lightness. Heavier masonry elements are restricted to the overriding grid; formed in reconstituted stone, whilst infill elements are much lighter, yet still robust. It is intended that panels will be in metal; brass or anodised aluminium, split between the two buildings. Warm and colder tones are suggested to provide contrast between the two buildings and are inspired by the initial canal references. The three storey balcony elements are expressed slightly differently, with warmer tones and dark metalwork detailing, to reinforce the overriding light grid-frame. A general ratio of 40% openings has been assumed, with internal accommodation organised to allow excellent natural daylighting.
The residential lobbies, in accordance with the masterplan, are double height spaces, enhanced through the introduction of the communal glazed lobby, that blends outside with inside. The lobby is accessible from either the public square to the south, or the neighbourhood street to the north.
Robust and easily maintained materials are proposed throughout; however it is the intention to develop the material palette throughout the design process. This will focus around detailing and tactility; where public and residents come into contact with the building.
The buildings have flat roofs, in accordance with the masterplan and keeping the forms simple. Setbacks to the building form are utilised to provide brown roof at highest level and green rooftops to lower floors, than may incorporate private or communal amenity.